9 Step Plan to Changing Your Career

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9 Step plan to changing your career

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<a href="https://www.gradschools.com/get-informed/student-guide/9-step-plan-to-changing-your-career">9 Step Plan to Changing Your Career</a><strong>Courtesy of gradschools.com</strong></p><a href="https://www.gradschools.com/get-informed/student-guide/9-step-plan-to-changing-your-career"><img alt="plan to changing your career" border="0" src="https://www.gradschools.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/9-steps-career-change.png" /></a>

Do you want to make a career change but have no idea how to begin? If so, you’re probably not alone, especially in today’s ever-evolving job market

A career change could be scary if you don’t have a clear idea of where you want to go—and how to make it happen. That’s why we created a 9-step plan to help you take stock of your interests and skills and then take the necessary action to pursue a brand-new career. So, with some soul-searching and some hard work, you could be well on your way to landing your dream job.

Consider these steps when the time comes for a career change:

  1. Evaluate your current field and job
    While you may know that you aren’t happy in your current job, it could be important for you to figure out why. Think about your field in general and then your job specifically. What do you like about your field? In what ways is your current job lacking? Make a list that outlines all of the pros and cons. Make sure to think about both your position in general as well as your day-to-day work life.
  2. Assess your likes and dislikes
    Once that’s in front of you, it’s time to think about what your personal passions are. For example, is having a career that involves helping others important? Or are all things tech your thing? Take some time to really pinpoint what matters to you.
  3. Research new careers
    It could be difficult to decide on a new career if you don’t know what’s out there! Get Googling and make a list of careers that are related to your interests. A great online resource to take advantage of is the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There, you could search for different jobs and get a breakdown of salary and job outlook, duties and responsibilities, required education, work environment and important personal qualities. You might consider making a table, listing the jobs you are interested in one column and then adding columns for education requirements, work experience, important qualities, salary, and job outlook.
  4. Evaluate your skills
    Now it’s time to take a hard look at your skill set. Figure out which of your skills are transferable to the careers on your list and where you may be lacking. For example, if you’re looking to make a career change from sales to healthcare, some of the skills that you may be able to transfer include: good communication skills, grace under pressure, customer service know-how, and attention to detail. The specifics will generally depend on your experience and the field you want to enter. It may be difficult, but be honest with yourself about your capabilities.
  5. Hone down your list
    Take another good look at your list. Which careers more closely match your current skill set and personal characteristics? If there is a gap in your skills, would it be feasible to fill in that gap by furthering your education? If you need work experience for the career, is there a way you might get that experience? Try to trim your list to one or possibly two jobs.
  6. Get the required training or education
    Now it’s time to research how you could fill in any skills gaps for the career(s) you chose. That means figuring out whether earning a degree—be it an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s—could provide you with the education you need to pursue the career you want. In some cases, you may just need to take some courses, complete a certificate program, or get credentialed to meet the job requirements. Once again, use the BLS Occupational Handbook as guidance in determining the education you need. You could also look at job boards to see what requirements employers have for the job you are interested in.
  7. Start networking
    Never underestimate the power of a referral to get you in the door. That’s why it’s typically important to network with people in the field or industry you’re looking to enter. You don’t necessarily have to wait until you finish your education—in fact, it’s the perfect place to begin. Also let your friends, family, and former co-workers know that you’re looking and see if they have any relevant contacts. Get out there and start attending networking events in your desired industry. And take advantage of LinkedIn by connecting with companies you’d like to work for and joining professional groups in your intended field.
  8. Find a mentor
    Finding a mentor could be a great way to get objective advice on how to enter a new industry. Since you’re already networking at this point, it’s a matter of reaching out to the appropriate person and asking for guidance. You may be surprised to find how many people enjoy sharing their experience and knowledge with someone who’s eager to learn. And your mentor may be able to introduce you to other contacts and opportunities in the future.
  9. Fill in non-education gaps
    In a competitive job market, having the required education may not be enough to land a job. While education certainly holds its significance, a growing number of employers are recognizing the value of a well-rounded set of skills and attributes that extend beyond formal degrees. So, think about what you could do to show that you’re more than just your education. Consider such things as volunteer work, community service, or pursuing a new hobby.
  10. Begin your job search
    You’ve done your research, built up your credentials, and become a networking master. Now it’s time to actively start looking for work—with an updated resume that reflects your skills. An important thing to remember is that when you’re changing jobs, it’s possible that you’ll have to start at the ground floor and work your way up. That means you may have to take a pay cut—or even relocate to get the job you want. Although you may have to make some initial sacrifices, having the chance to do what you love could make it all worthwhile in the end.
    Having the guts to put yourself on the line and pursue a new career path is admirable. Change isn’t always easy, and the process of transitioning from one career to another could, at times, be stressful. However, if you focus on the long-term—where you might be in 10 years, how you might feel more satisfied and fulfilled in your job—you could get through the challenging parts and find yourself well on your way to a new future!

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